Search called off for Alabama man missing after boat crash
Originally published July 6, 2017 at 5:39 am
PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (AP) — The search has been suspended for a 19-year-old Alabama man missing after his personal watercraft crashed into a boat near a Florida marina.
The U.S. Coast Guard said in a news release it searched about 7 square miles (18 sq. kilometers) during a nine-hour search for Henry Wise of Fairhope, Alabama. Wise didn’t resurface Tuesday night when his watercraft collided with the boat.
Another person on the watercraft, 19-year-old Gavin Primm of Daphne, Alabama, was injured. His condition wasn’t immediately available.
Multiple agencies assisted in the search for Wise.
Florida Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Beckah Nelson confirmed the ongoing search. The Coast Guard Sector Mobile reported that they concluded their help in the search on Wednesday (July 5) evening.
Nelson said that Wise and and Gavin Primm, 19, both from Daphne, were on jet ski's when they got into an accident with a boat carrying five people on July 4.
The accident occurred in Saint Joseph's Bay just south of the Highland View Boat Ramp near Highway 98.
Nelson identified the driver of the boat as 19-year-old Robert Bratkinewiez of Mobile. No charges have been filed against Bratkinewiez at this time.
Primm remains at a local hospital in Florida in stable condition.
No additional details about the accident have been released at this time.
Friends and family are invited to gather together on Sunday, July 9, 2017 on the Bluff at Bayside Academy to celebrate the life of Henry Alexander Wise, V. Henry is the son of Henry Alexander "Sandy" Wise, IV and Paige Wise and brother to Harper Wise. The family will begin gathering at 5:30 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at the Bayside Academy Pilot Center 303 Dryer Ave Daphne, AL 36526 with the service following at 7:00 P.M. until sunset. In lieu of flowers the family request contributions be made to The Henry A. Wise, V Foundation. For information regarding the services contact Bayside Academy at 251-338-6438.
Search and rescue efforts continue in Gulf County, FL Wednesday, July 5, 2017 for a teenager from Daphne. Florida Wildlife Conservation (FWC) officials said 19 year-old, Henry Alexander Wise VI was driving a jet ski with a friend when it collided with a boat, throwing them into the water.
FWC officials said the accident happened on St. Joseph’s Bay around 7:30 Tuesday night. Henry Wise and Gavin Primm, both of Daphne were on a Jet Ski and collided with a 24 foot boat driven by another friend from Mobile. Primm is recovering in the hospital, but Wise hasn’t been found.
A major search effort has been underway since the accident including the US Coast Guard, FWC, and the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office.
Wise and his friend and teammate, Gavin Primm are recent graduates of Bayside Academy and both played football. Randy Burgan is the play-by-play announcer for Admirals Football and said Wise was an outstanding player.
“Every Friday night we called his name. He either made a fantastic catch. He made a great touchdown. He was always involved in a play,” Burgan said. “He was one of those silent leaders on the team…a guy that you could count on and he was going to give a hundred and ten percent every time he hit the field.”
Wise played wide receiver and defensive back for the Admirals and the news of the accident has been very hard on the Bayside family. School officials did not talk to the media Wednesday as the search continued.
“Everybody’s trying to still gather answers and find out exactly what happened so it is a shock,” Burgan said.
Officials said the Carolina Skiff that Wise hit was operated by 18 year-old Robert Bratkinewiez from Mobile and had a total of five people on board at the time of the accident. None of those on the boat was hurt.
The search has been going on from the air and on the water. The Florida Wildlife Commission has dive crews on the water as well. No charges have been filed and the investigation into the cause of the accident continues.